The 2011 growing season brought perfect conditions to Portugal's Douro Valley, and the fresh, powerful and explosively fruity 2011 Vintage Ports are likely to stand as a benchmark of quality in the decades ahead. Overall, more than 20 wines rated a classic 95 points or higher in managing editor Kim Marcus' latest tasting report in the Jan. 31-Feb. 28 issue of Wine Spectator. But Vintage Port represents only 2 percent of Port production. There are a host of other styles, led by tawnies and Late Bottled Vintage Ports, both of which offer delicious, ready-to-drink flavors while you wait for Vintage Port to mature. Lighter-style ruby Ports feature plenty of direct flavors at bargain prices.
Posted: February 26, 2014
Pinot Noir dominates in Oregon in terms of quality, familiarity and production, with 60 percent of the state's 25,440 vineyard acres planted to the variety. However, Chardonnay is coming on strong, and it's the most consistent variety in Harvey Steiman's latest Oregon tasting report (see the Jan. 31–Feb. 28 issue of the magazine); 38 percent of the current offerings reviewed scored 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale. Other whites offered their share of top-scorers as well, including refreshing, tangy Pinot Gris and off-dry Rieslings.
Posted: February 12, 2014
Posted: January 29, 2014
Oregon's signature Pinot Noir style combines the transparency and light texture of Burgundy with the ripe flavors of California. Variation among individual producers and vintages spreads the spectrum of choices further. In his latest tasting report, editor at large Harvey Steiman finds that the state's current vintages offer a little of everything for Pinot Noir lovers—from 2011s, the lightest Pinots Oregon has produced in years, to the ripe, supple, soon-to-be-released 2012s, with the 2010s in between. (See his report, based on reviews of nearly 375 Pinot Noirs, in the Jan. 31-Feb. 28, 2014, issue of Wine Spectator.)
Posted: January 22, 2014
Posted: January 15, 2014
When reaching for a bottle of wine, do you find yourself most often opening a still white wine, a crisp pink rosé, a dry red, a bubbly sparkler, or an after-dinner quaff like fortified or dessert wine?
Posted: January 8, 2014
Sparkling wine evokes holiday cheer like nothing else, and almost every wine region produces a version or two. Some rely on the traditional varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while others embrace local grapes. Bubbles may be created following the Champagne model, by secondary fermentation in the bottle, or the Charmat method, in pressurized tanks before bottling. Some sparkling wines are dry in style, and others lightly sweet. For dozens of recommendations, see the Brilliant Sparklers tasting report in the Dec. 15 issue on Champagne and the Bargain Bubbly global list in our Dec. 31 issue.
Posted: December 18, 2013
Washington has commanded attention in recent years with bottlings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, along with widely planted Chardonnay and Riesling and a tantalizing range of lesser-known grape varieties. Based on the results of Wine Spectator's latest tasting report, in the Dec. 31 issue, in which 425 of nearly 975 wines reviewed rated 90 points or higher, the state has arrived as a consistent source of wines worth paying attention to in every category and price range.
Posted: December 11, 2013
Posted: December 4, 2013
When you're entertaining a large group of family and friends over the holidays, how do you handle your wine selections?
Posted: November 27, 2013
Posted: November 20, 2013
Posted: November 13, 2013
How much do wine lovers usually spend for a bottle of wine at retail? Wine Spectator polls its readers to find out what they pay at the store.
Posted: November 7, 2013
When it comes to California's signature red variety, most people immediately think of Napa Valley. But the state has other regions where the grape can excel, such as Paso Robles, which is experiencing a boomlet (see "Ripe for Cabernet" in our Nov. 15 issue); Knights Valley in Sonoma, the source of Peter Michael's Les Pavots and a top Beringer bottling; and Santa Cruz Mountains, home of the classic Ridge Monte Bello.
Posted: October 30, 2013
Fans of Tuscan wines have plenty of choices right now. The current releases span several vintages, myriad price points and a broad range of styles—from the generous 2011s to the powerful 2010s and elegant 2009s, from traditional Sangiovese bottlings to international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, either blended or solo. (For recent ratings of hundreds of wines, see the Tuscan Bounty tasting report in our Oct. 31 issue and Spotlight on Brunello di Montalcino in our June 30 issue.)
Posted: October 23, 2013
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